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World War II: Home Front Books

Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 (1995)

Historian George Sanchez explores the ways Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles transformed, adapted, and preserved their ethnic identity during periods of industrial growth, economic depression, and war. Sanchez is a brilliant storyteller and through his exhaustive research offers his reader a window into the lives of immigrants in multi-cultural urban communities.

John Morton Blum, V Was For Victory (1976)

Historian John Blum tackles the fascinating relationships between American politics and cultural values, homefront mobilization and notions of race, and foreign policy and big business.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of World War II (2000)

Historian Ronald Takaki narrates the experiences of nine different non-white or non-Christian ethnic groups. He follows the lives of Americans with Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Jewish, Native, Mexican, Indian, and African roots to illustrate the ways in which World War II influenced the growing struggle for equality and justice in the United States.

Marilynn S. Johnson, The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II (1994)

Historian Marilynn Johnson studies the tremendous importance of World War II on the development of the Easy Bay region of California. Like the first California Gold Rush, Johnson argues that the wartime industrial boom brought revolution changes to cities like Oakland, which attracted thousands of people including the Bay Area's first major influx of African-American migrants. A terrific book for anyone interested in Bay Area history!

John Tateishi, ed., And Justice For All: An Oral History of the Japanese-American Detention Camps (1984)

In this powerful oral history collection, 30 Japanese Americans describe their experiences and reflect upon life as internment camp inmates.

Studs Terkel, The Good War (1984)

In this oral history collection, Studs Terkel presents interviews with dozens of people who, in some way, were affected by World War II. His subjects discuss fond memories, regrets and longing, nightmarish experiences, and reflections on the future. Terkel's book humanizes war and helps us understand the ways in which many different lives were affected in complex ways.

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